With the Labor Day weekend upon us, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of the many great Four on Friday interviews we published on this blog during the summer months.

Below are excerpts from and links to — you guessed it — four interviews from this summer. They are good examples of the insight into the commercial real estate markets, and the personalities that help shape those markets, that we try to provide every Friday.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend, and keep coming back every week for more Four on Fridays!

1) Freya Brier of Eddie Bauer

HS: For someone visiting the Seattle area for the first time, what are the things they simply must do while they're in town?

Brier: Eat the blackened halibut sandwich at the Market Grill in Pike Place Market, and check out the Gum Wall, the first Starbucks and watch the fishmongers throw the fish. Take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island to art gallery hop and come back at sunset when the sun is setting behind the Seattle skyline. Take in a concert and wine tastings at Chateau St. Michelle’s vineyards in Woodinville.


2) Mark O. Hackner of FOG Capital

HS: What's your take on the pace of retail investment sales and development so far in 2014, and how do you see those trends playing out over the rest of the year?

Hackner: It is remarkable how fast and how dramatically development has turned in the past two or three years, although not so much in the retail build-to-suit sector. Of course, a lot of this has been spurred by the compression of cap rates and the jump in rental rates, both in retail and multifamily. This has been a boon for developers and property owners who incubated projects a few years ago.


3) Paul Van Slyke of Goode Van Slyke Architecture

HS: If you couldn't be an architect, what would you like to do?

Van Slyke: If I had made another choice in my 20s, it probably would have been a stockbroker. I always had a fondness for Wall Street, even as a kid, and have always liked the excitement of the risk-taking involved with being entrepreneurial.

I would say if I was given that choice now, I might be a lacrosse coach. I have coached many levels, from fourth graders to college, and it never gets old to me. There is always something new to learn, and part of the experience is very introspective as you evaluate how you communicate with others.

When coaching youth, it always feels as if you are providing something of real meaning to young men that will hopefully be a fond memory in their later years and somehow make a difference in their lives.


4) Tom McCormick of Rockefeller Group

HS: What’s the most exciting thing abut the Outlets at Tejon Ranch opening?

McCormick: I really can’t believe the lineup of tenants that we were able to get, and I also didn’t realize what a challenge it would be, all things considered. Lori (Kilberg) and Benno (Rothschild) did a great job of letting us know the challenges that we would encounter and offered financial and development expertise along the way. We were not a known outlet developer. The Rockefeller Group and Tejon had never done a retail project of this magnitude. Here we were, two companies new to the outlet business with a great location. After a lot of hard work, we officially opened 100% pre-leased with a lineup of stores that people are excited to experience. It’s still amazing that we were able to change this bit of dirt into a quality land for use.